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Midterm 1

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Western University
Psychology 2135A/B
Patrick Brown

Chapter 1 - Introduction 12-09-30 10:32 PM How Did Ancient People Explain Behavior? - human behavior is complex - throughout history, explanations of behavior have acknowledged this by including some kind of complexity - the nature of this complexity has varied over time, but the complexity is always there - unfortunately, the complex part of any account of behavior is usually left implicit it is left as a mystery - no evidence that an integrated concept of mind existed in classical Greece (or elsewhere) - internal organs stomach, heart, liver, spleen were seen as interacting in complex ways to produce behavior note connection to modern views of embodied cognition modern traces of this view o my heart is broken o youve got guts o he was inspired - gods and demons were thought to interfere in human activities behavior comes from outside the person - interpersonal understanding seen as sufficiently marvelous and also sufficiently important that it had to be explained in terms of a god, ie. Hermes modern traces of this idea that behavior comes form outside the person o commercials make people buy things Rene Descartes (1596-1650) - distinguished between reason and emotion and argued that emotion should not control behavior - argued that it is the difference between animals and humans that are interesting ie. Language and consciousness - this view made how humans are different from animals the central issue for psychology in the two centuries after Descartes John Locke (1632-1704) - Locke distinguished two types of knowledge sensation reflection - argued that knowledge comes form experience an idea that argues against the divine right of kings Wilhelm Wundt (1832-1920) - asked how basic mental elements combine to create our conscious experience - major influence was just the idea of an experimental laboratory for psychology Charles Darwin (1809-1882) - descent with modification people & animals evolved from common ancestors human functions evolved from animal functions - after Darwin, psychology focused on what humans share with animals (learning) and had less interest in what was different about humans th 19 Century German Physiologists - physiologists studied nerve conduction speed an observable, physical process showed you can have a science of behavior Behaviorism - basic idea: consequences of a behavior determine whether that behavior will occur again World War ll (1939-1945) Technology - operators had to be selected and trained for complex machines and weaponry (fast planes, radar) - behaviorists had no relevant knowledge or research techniques for answering those questions World War ll (1939-1945) Movements of Peoples - many European psychologists, especially Jews, were persecuted by Nazis most of those who got away went to the USA Computer Science - the computers program specifies the processes that produce its behavior Linguistics - after the war, Skinner wrote Verbal Behavior a behaviorist explanation of a complex human behavior (language) - Skinners book was attacked by linguists as too simple to explain complex language structures (ie. Sentences) - Chomsky developed a new model, inspired by computer programs, of how humans generate a sentence using transformations The 1950s - all these threads came together in the 50s a time of great change in North America - fins were in for cars - vinyl was stylish - Elvis was thin - governments were throwing money at the universities All These Influences Came Together - graduate schools opened up and turned out lots of young rebels who thought the old guys were wrong about everything - the new approach focused on mental representations and the processes that operate on them cognitive psychology - cognitive psychology: study of the mental operations that support peoples acquisition and use of knowledge pattern recognition, attention, memory, visual imagery, language, problem solving and decision making - human information processing: psychological approach that attempts to identify what occurs during the various stages (attention, perception, short- term memory) of processing information - sensory store: part of memory that holds unanalyzed sensory information for a fraction of a second provides an opportunity for additional analysis following the physical termination of a stimulus - pattern recognition: stage of perception during which a stimulus is identified - filter: the part of attention in which some perceptual information is blocked out and not recognized, while other information receives attention and is subsequently recognized - selection stage: stage that follows pattern recognition and determines which information a person will try to remember - short-term memory (STM): memory that has limited capacity and that lasts only approx. 20-30 seconds in the absence of attending to its content - long-term memory (LTM): memory that has no capacity limits and lasts from minutes to an entire lifetime - bottom-up processing: flow of information from sensory store toward LTM - top-down processing: flow of information from LTM toward sensory store - stimulus-response (S-R): approach that emphasizes the association between a stimulus and a response, without identifying the mental operations that produced the response - artificial intelligence: study of how to produce computer programs that can perform intellectually demanding tasks - plan A: a temporarily ordered sequence of operations for carrying out some task - cognitive science: interdisciplinary attempt to study cognition through fields like psychology, philosophy, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, linguistics and anthropology - cognitive neuroscience: study of the relation between cognitive processes and brain activities
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